Jim and Alan Magill aren't your typical motorists. Your typical motorist wouldn’t be taking a Fiat Tempra on a road trip across America.
At the time of writing, this legal alien is the only living Fiat Tempra in New York. It’s almost certainly the only living Tempra in the whole of the U.S., given that the closest the ‘Type Three’ Fiat got to The Land of Opportunity was production in Brazil for the Latin American market.
Anyone who has followed Jim’s exploits via the medium of Twitter will know that he doesn’t do simple road trips. Dawn raids, LEJOGs and Friday evening trips on the M6 will seem a trifle trivial when you see what Jim has achieved in the kind of Fiats most ordinary folk would deem past their sell-by date.
Tempra, we're not in Croydon anymore
Having shipped the Fiat Tempra to the U.S. from their home in Northern Ireland, Jim and Alan flew 3,500 miles to get married in Vermont, before venturing south to New York. From there, the Tempra will head to California for the honeymoon, before returning to the East Coast after Christmas.
That’s something like 8,000 miles in a month, in a car that, in Jim’s words, “has only been used by a little old man to trundle to the shops of Croydon since George H. W. Bush was in power”.
Launched in 1990, the Fiat Tempra shared a platform with the Alfa Romeo 155 and the Lancia Dedra, but it was never sold in the U.S. Which is why the Tempra looks so bloody good in New York.
Seriously, how great is this? This must be one of the photos of 2018. What is it about cars away from their natural environment? It’s a little like the TVR Tuscan Speed Six on Blackpool number plates in Swordfish. The Tempra is running on Vermont plates for reasons that will be come clear in a moment.
Tiny Tempra, big country
This isn’t some PR-funded trip, complete with all-expenses-paid refreshments and travel. There’s no support vehicle if the Fiat Tempra decides it has had enough of the American dream. Fiat isn’t lending a hand – more’s the pity – and dealers will be unable to help if the Italian throws a Tempra tantrum.
This is all down to Jim and Alan. We should doff our hats to their endeavours while admitting that we’re all rather envious of their epic road trip. Oh, how we’d love to escape the nightmare before Christmas we’re experiencing in Britain.
But this isn’t about us. This is about a pair of newlyweds showing us how a honeymoon should be done. Forget Caribbean islands and all-inclusive resorts – a month in a Fiat Tempra is the way to go.
During the trip, Jim and Alan are raising money for the North Valley Community Foundation's Camp Fire Relief Fund. Jim told PETROLBLOG: “I know it’s mainly an American thing, but a couple of the Fiat guys here lost everything and I wanted to do a bit to help.
“All of the money goes directly to a charity on the ground in California that is really helping folk and doesn’t have directors on half a million a year.”
When the honeymoon is over, Jim and Alan will return home to Carrickfergus, but the Tempra won’t be taking the long winding road down to the sea. Instead, it will be sold to a lucky American, with 10 percent of the proceeds going to charity.
Right now, looking at that photo tweeted by Jim of the Fiat in front of Manhattan Bridge, PETROLBLOG is finding it hard not to fall into the Tempra trap. Buy it – it will be the best Manhattan transfer since Chanson D'Amour.
Be sure to follow the Tempra’a travels via Twitter. Good luck, lads. May the 1.6-litre Fiat be a beacon of dependability as it rides the freeways of the United States of America.